Generic Biotech Drugs Could Save $71 Billion

A private study says patients and health insurance providers could save billions of dollars if companies were allowed to manufacture generic versions of biotech medicines.

Express Scripts , which conducted the study, puts the savings at least $ 71 billion over ten years. The study says a generic drug typically costs 60% less than its brand name counterpart.

Currently, there is no legal pathway that allows generic drug makers to produce biotech medicines, so the pricey treatments, have never had to compete with copycat products that drive pharmaceutical costs lower.

Legislation introduced in Congress Wednesday would authorize the Food and Drug administration to approve copies of biotech drugs.